Saturday, 5 April 2014

Eating Curd to Avoid Type 2 Diabetes


Summer is hitting hard in India. It’s time to bid goodbye to the winter season which was unusually & bitterly chilled this year in North India. Weathermen in Southern India also recorded much drop in temperature as compared to the usually warmer climate. So, get ready to welcome the summary summer. Remember if you are a diabetic you need to take care of yourself a bit more in extreme cold or hot weathers. 

Well, one good thing of summer is you get to drink a lot of water and you have options of eating a lot of seasonal fruits. The seasonal fruits including watermelon, mangoes, plums, papaya etc. are very good for a diabetic. For more details on what to eat and what not to, check out our blog on Best & Worst Food for Diabetes.  As a diabetes practitioner for over two decades, my personal favorite in summer is curd and curd related foods. Of course apart from possibility of drinking loads of water which helps in detoxifying the body and plenty of fruits to fill your stomach, all this helps in fighting diabetes. Why I like curd more is its simple and effective composition giving you enough nutrition and also the possibility of preparing buttermilk or using it as raita or using it as topping on your salad, there are plenty of options. 

Recently, when I read about a research conducted by scientists in UK which claimed that curd/ yogurt helps in combating diabetes I was really excited and happy. Most of Indians like curd and use it as staple diet every day. Hopefully, this will be a good reason for people who wish to prevent type 2 diabetes as much as enjoy eating the low fat curd. 

As per the research, eating low-fat curd/ yogurt can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 28 percent compared to not eating any curd. Curd anyways has known health benefits as it contains calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and fatty acids. The fermentation process that turns milk into curd also produces probiotic bacteria and “specific types of vitamin K,” that are known to be beneficial. Though the research didn’t elaborated on any mechanism but stated that it’s likely that probiotic bacteria plays a key role. The role of gut bacteria in mediating inflammation and thus increasing or decreasing the risk of numerous diseases includes diabetes. So, how much curd is good enough? The report suggested of having low-fat curd/yogurt four times a week. The reports also provided information on eating some other fermented dairy products, such as low-fat cheeses, that could cut the risk of diabetes by 24 percent. 

Developing further on the hypothesis researches looked at the effects of other fermented foods which can help in preventing or delaying the onset of type-2 diabetes. Scientists have observed that the lowered risk was seen amongst people who ate about 4.5 standard 125-grams cups of curd/yogurt a week. As per the research, this was also the case with other low-fat fermented dairy products including low-fat cottage cheese. 

We Indians have adopted curd eating habits from older days. For any good thing you step out of home our mothers come along with a few spoon of curd for good luck. The only difference in it being low-fat was doubtful, as majority of households use the whole milk/ full cream buffalo milk to make curd out of it. Here the researches have stressed on having low-fat curd/ yogurt. The scientists have also emphasized that, the more primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese. Following a regular exercise pattern, having more of plant based food and maintaining a healthy weight goes a long way in helping to prevent the diabetes. Eating the right food does contribute in effectively averting the onset of diabetes. 

As per International Diabetes Federation’s statistics India is second to China in housing almost 67 million diabetics with another 30 million in prediabetes group. The more alarming fact presented by IDF was that 52% of Indians don’t even know that they are suffering from high blood sugar. When you read such statistics and try to comprehend it just gives a scarier picture. A developing economy like India where people are working hard to achieve as much as possible in life will end up acquiring diabetes - all the monetarily achievements are then used to get treatments curing diabetes. Well, you can control diabetes but you can’t cure it. In that scenario, don’t you think that it makes a better sense to tune up our life to avoid dreaded diseases like diabetes rather than just focusing on achieving the name, fame and money?  

Thinking, where to start? Well, you can begin to explore more and know the risk of diabetes for yourself, your family members and your children’s at our portal: 

How a report in GRASS-Diabetes help’s you in combating Diabetes? Here is what a Grass-Report consists of:

  1. Genetic Risk Assessment: Your GRASS report carries the percentage of Genetic Risk that indicates the age at which Diabetes may occur, depending on all the data, with accuracy of 68-92% depending upon patient's inputs. Genetic Risk will remain same throughout the life; however life style and dietary factors like junk food, rich diet, and consumption of alcohol, smoking, stress and zero exercise may trigger Diabetes earlier. 
  2. Susceptibility: It is the tendency to develop the disease. This tendency depends upon various factors including your age, family history of Diabetes, the excess birth weight. Your ethnicity, a sedentary lifestyle, stress and rich diet also results in increasing the tendency.
  3. DEED: Diet- Exercise- Education- Drugs. DEED is the ultimate word for self-care and monitoring blood sugar levels. GRASS gives you the "Suggestions for Prevention" which carries a customized dietary chart and an exercise reference personal to your report. Getting educated on the Diabetes is helpful as much as the drugs which shall be advised by your physician.

Singhal Diabetic Clinic - A trusted name in diabetic prevention which is serving for over two decades
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure, your knowledge towards your own body and the lifestyle you chose determines your future. You are welcome to explore and know more about your risk of diabetes by getting your personalized report on the risk of diabetes because of your genes and lifestyle. If you have any queries, we will be pleased to assist you.


Dr. M Singhal
Phone: +91-1334-224625 | Mobile: +91-9837178358

SOURCES: Nita Forouhi, M.D., group leader, nutritional epidemiology program, Medical Research Council, University of Cambridge, England; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., senior clinical nutritionist, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; The university funded research was published Feb. 5, 2014 in the journal Diabetologia

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